Ramblers Association: Is it all just walking?

With a name like the Ramblers Association, it is understandable that this charity has a fair amount of interest in walking. Their mission, quite simply, is to protect the outdoor spaces that appeal to walkers, and to make sure that people are able to experience the freedom and other benefits that come with being out and about on foot.

Walking, therefore, makes up a large part of what the charity does. Their website is a mine of useful information for those who enjoy getting out and about on foot, providing advice, suggested walking routes, details of walking events and festivals and much, much more.



While the main aim of the Ramblers Association is to promote the benefits of walking to the public, much of their work will also appeal to those who have a keen interest in protecting the environment. Part of the charity’s role includes protecting the environments in which people walk, and promoting their rights to enjoy the wide variety of open spaces that Britain has to offer. Work in these areas does not just include campaigning, but practical work too. A huge number of volunteers work with the charity to keep pathways across the UK clear and accessible, in addition to campaigning to protect walking routes that are at risk from commercial developments such as new housing projects, high speed railway lines, off road vehicles, fracking and more.


Another of the key charitable aims of the Ramblers Association is to educate the public in a variety of areas. These areas include promoting the health and social benefits of walking, as well as educating the public about the importance of preserving and conserving the areas of the UK that are popular amongst walkers. They also campaign for access rights – including a notable successful campaign in 2009 that gave members of the public the right to walk along the entire coast line of England, providing access to some of the country’s most beautiful and magical landscapes.

Walking Information

Experienced and novice walkers alike will find the advice guides produced by the charity to be useful. As well as advice on the health benefits and safety aspects of walking, you will find tips and reviews covering the best walking clothing, from waterproof trousers to Gore-Tex jackets and more. With advice on map reading and rights of way among other useful information, the Ramblers Association provides all that new and experienced walkers need to get going.


The Ramblers Association is a charity that is focused on walking, and this is, understandably, a key focus for the charity. However, there is plenty of opportunity for non-walkers to get involved – particularly those who have a keen interest in preserving our environment for generations to come. With a huge number of volunteer opportunities available and a number of regular, high profile campaigns each and every year, working with or supporting the Ramblers Association is a great way to get involved in championing a fantastic cause.

Arthur Long is an enviro mentalist. He loves the outdoors and blogs regularly on issues he feels strongly about.

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A Mini-Cruise Offers The Perfect Short Break

Mini-cruises are becoming an increasingly popular choice for those wanting a short escape away from it all – and it is not difficult to see why. Many modern holidaymakers and travel enthusiasts choose these versatile breaks which are available from many British ports to escape and get away from it all, for the new experiences which they offer – and very often the opportunity just to see what cruises are like.

Some of the first-time cruise-goers on board are often there to ‘dip a toe in the water’ and – if they like it – to consider the future possibility of booking a longer cruise itinerary for their main holiday.

Enjoy new experiences

A mini-cruise is ideal for exploring new coastal destinations, to see new islands or even visit a new city – and all without having to drive around or hire a car when you are there. Discover new places and enjoy new experiences in stop offs ranging from St Petersburg or various picturesque harbours on the Scandinavian seaboard, to Paris or Zeebrugge.

Culture, relaxation and entertainment

On board for your enjoyment during the sailing are restaurants, bars and entertainment – all without airport stress and taxi transfers. Relax in your cabin, wake up next morning and discover somewhere new – see the sights, soak up the culture, go shopping and have lunch or dinner in a romantic restaurant. So much is on offer – and you don’t have to organise it all yourself or cook! One of the leading operators offering an interesting selection of mini cruises from U.K. ports is Royal Caribbean Cruises, with their fleet of modern ships offering passengers safety and comfort.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship


If you are a first-time cruiser, why not take a look at an ‘ask the experts’ article – Sara Macefield (an award-winning cruise writer and travel journalist for more than twenty years) responds to a reader’s query asking about the best mini cruises.

If you would like to see reports and a mine of other generally useful information about experiences which holidaymakers have had on different cruise ships, one website which offers several reviews from cruises over recent years is Mini Cruise Reviews. This review site states its aim is to offer candid and plain-speaking reviews (based on opinion) of the vessels – along with the destination locations themselves.

One slightly tongue-in-cheek website which amongst other information offers its readers travel guides and states that it incorporates the knowledge of expert contributors and its owner Christine’s uncompromising style is ‘The Fabulous Times’. Also describing itself as a provider of a wealth of knowledge and “an indispensable resource for those who love to travel”, there is a recent article with a selection of five short cruises.

Enjoy your mini-cruise!



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Its a Better Adventure with Friends – Great Group Ski Resorts

Its Better with Friends – Great Group Ski Resorts for 2014

With the Winter Olympics well underway, many people are feeling an increased love of winter sports. A great way to enjoy that newly rejuvenated love is to go on a group holiday to a fabulous European ski resort.

Group holidays are a great idea, allowing like-minded people to enjoy the same event, and travel agents often offer discounts for groups. If you are thinking of taking a ski trip with the gang, consider one of these amazing ski resorts.


Claviere, Italy

The Claviere Ski Resort is part of the Milky Way circuit and located only 10 minutes from Montegenevre Ski Resort in France. There are 160 kilometres of marked trails at the Claviere Ski Resort itself. The Milky Way circuit adds an additional 350 kilometres of slopes on the same lift pass. With so many kilometres of slopes, there are options for skiers of every level. Snowboarders even have snow parks within the circuit. Because the chairlifts are fast-moving between the resorts, accessing everything is easy.

claviere ski resort

Maria Alm

Maria Alm is a great location for group ski holidays. They are equipped with facilities for children as well as a wide variety of runs to meet the needs of every ability level. As a member of the Ski Amade alliance, they have access to 865 kilometres of beautifully groomed slopes as well as 276 lifts. While the slopes are not all interconnected, there is easy access through buses and gondolas. With access to so many different routes on one ski pass and 100% snow coverage from snow machines, this is a great place to go on a group holiday because everyone’s needs will be met.

maria alm

Schladming, Austria

Schladming ski resort is located in a beautiful medieval village that is situated between four ski areas, making it one of the best linked ski circuits in Austria. Schladming ski resort is great for groups, even those that include small children, as it has a wide range of runs for all ability levels. There are even great ski and non-ski areas for children as young as 4 to begin learning to ski. Of the 167 kilometres of runs, Schladming has 50 kilometres of Blue runs for beginners, 100 kilometres of red runs for intermediate skiers, and 17 kilometres of black runs for advanced skiers. The snowboarders in your group should feel welcome as well because there are several fun half-pipes and parks to choose from.


Andalo, Italy

The beautifully maintained ski area at Andalo Ski Resort has gorgeous scenery in a friendly village. There are a variety of slopes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. One of the great things about Andalo Ski Resort is that even if you schedule your holiday a year in advance, you’ll still have plenty of fresh powder to ski on whether new snow has fallen that week or not. The snowmaking system that Andalo has is thought to be the best in the Dolomite Mountains with around 95% coverage.

Canazei, Italy

Canazei Ski Resort is a medium-sized resort which links to others in the Val-di-Fassa ski region as well as the ski area Superski Dolomiti. If the members of your group are intermediate skiers or snowboarders, then Canazei will be a great fit. Their 150-kilometre ski area gives skiers and snowboarders a great deal of space to explore.


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